Facebook Goes On The Charm Offensive With Massive Ad Campaign

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CEO Mark Zuckerberg was grilled for two days by USA lawmakers over the leak, yet he and his management team weren't even asked by analysts about a possible clampdown by regulators after Facebook reported a 49 per cent jump in first-quarter revenues.

Previously, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologized and promised to patch security vulnerabilities as it became known that personal information of about 50 million Facebook users had been harvested by the Cambridge Analytica consultancy firm without their permission through a special app.

Schroeder said it was clear Facebook had not done enough to ensure its tools could "potentially being used for harm" or take a broad enough view of its responsibility. "The core of our job is to build a service which helps millions of people connect with each other around the world every day". In after-hours trading reflecting the strong earnings report, shares were up sharply, gaining 4.41% to $167.05 as of this writing.

In the first quarter of 2017, Facebook grew its daily active users by 18%, and in the first quarter of 2016, it grew that metric by 16%.

Mr Schroepfer said Facebook had legal certification that the data had been deleted in 2015, but admitted he was disappointed by the way Facebook had handled disinformation campaigns on the platform, notably from Russian Federation.

"Online advertising is becoming increasingly fraught with privacy-related concerns which is attracting significant attention from legislative bodies as well as users", Baird analysts said in a note to investors this week.

About 270 000 people downloaded a personality quiz app and shared information about themselves and their friends with a researcher, who then passed along the information to Cambridge Analytica, in a move that Facebook says was against its rules.

Zuckerberg said the two days of hearings this month were "an important moment for the company to hear the feedback, and to show what we're doing".

"It was a mistake that we didn't inform people at the time", Schroepfer told MPs.

Despite a recent movement to delete profiles from the social network, it emerged on Wednesday that the backlash had little impact on the company's bottom line.

In a written testimony, Mr Zuckerberg told USA lawmakers that he was "responsible for" not preventing the social media platform from being used for harm - fake news, foreign interference in elections and hate speech.

Labour MP Paul Farrelly said Facebook's actions had reminded him of a book written by Rolling Stone political writer Matt Taibbi about how the investment bank Goldman Sachs operated like a "vampire squid" ahead of the financial crisis.

A demonstrator wears a mask depicting Facebook Inc.

Facebook faces other challenges.

"What Facebook may end up proposing is for users to pay for (using) it - with their personal data or in cash", he told Reuters. Facebook updated its risk section as the company audits how outside developers use its social network and cuts off some access to data.

The European Parliament last week demanded Zuckerberg appear in person to answer questions about the Cambridge Analytica scandal, rejecting his offer to send a more junior executive in his place.

Mr Schroepfer told MPs that new measures to boost transparency on the social network would be introduced in the United Kingdom by July this year.

"We did not read all of the terms and conditions", Schroepfer admitted.